Explaining the Wonder of a Nest with Eggs

I cannot wait to find all the spring nests. Each year, I track the Robin, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Sparrow, and Mourning Dove, but this year, I’m sure I’ll finally find the Mallard Duck’s nest by the secret vernal pond. What a joy! I can hardly describe it.

My favorite book as a child was The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. I spent so much time alone on the banks of Little Hunting Creek that I felt just like Sam Beaver in the woods of western Canada. I pick up the book again, and I read Sam’s entry in his notebook (I also kept a notebook). He writes:

“I don’t know of anything in the entire world more wonderful to look at than a nest with eggs in it. An egg, because it contains life, is the most perfect thing there is. It is beautiful and mysterious. An egg is a far finer thing than a tennis ball or a cake of soap. A tennis ball will always be just a tennis ball. A cake of soap will always be just a cake of soap–until it gets so small nobody wants it and they throw it away. But an egg will someday be a living creature. A swan’s egg will open and out will come a little swan. A nest is almost as wonderful and mysterious as an egg. . . “

Today, I consider the building of cozy, perfect nests (who knows how they know how to do it?) and the hatching of eggs (how do they know how to hatch?). I consider the mysterious, secret, unseen process. I consider new life, resurrection, and the miracle of transformation of one thing to another—something growing and waiting to break free

and fly.


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